February 15, 2020

Remembering our son.

March 14, 2016

Ten years have passed since I delivered our son Matthew.
A son who would never know life on this earth, but has enjoyed the splendors of heaven and the presence of God day after day.
A son who has never seen my face, heard my voice, or felt my touch. 
But I have seen him. I have touched him. My tears fell on his face and my heart felt like it exploded in my chest when the nurse placed him in my arms. A tiny, lifeless, perfectly formed baby ... my son.
The details of that day are clearly etched in my memory, never, I hope, to be forgotten.
The Lord made Himself very real that day. March 14th, 2006.
He was there. In the kindness of the nurse. The thoughtfulness of friends. The compassion of my family. The prayers of the saints. The support and courage of my husband.
God was there.
He never left me.
He did not leave me when my doctor told me the Thursday before, "I think you are miscarrying."
He did not leave me when we saw the black screen of the ultrasound, where a heart was once beating.
He did not leave me during the weekend when Dennis and I could only stare at each other, knowing the life inside of me was no more.
He did not leave me when I went to church on Sunday, longing to be with the body of Christ, but dreading the emotion I knew would consume me. 
He did not leave me when I stepped into the maternity room to deliver a baby that would not go home with me.
And He is with me still.
It cannot be any other way, because He promised it would be no other way!
"I will never leave you or forsake you."

It has been ten years.
And for the first time in a decade, I had to be reminded of the anniversary.
In the past, my heart hurt before my mind remembered.
The ache triggered the memory. And the weeping would last through the night.
But this year was different.
There was no pain to remind me of his death. No ache. No tears.
And I felt guilty. How could I not remember?
Before I could tumble down into the dark depths of despair, however, the Lord stepped in. He reminded me that the anniversary is just one day - and I think of, talk about, and remember Matthew - always.

He then drew me to this passage:
Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
He gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds
He determines the number of the stars;
He gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
His understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the humble;
He casts the wicked to the ground.

Psalm 147

God HEALS broken hearts!
The healing takes time. Six months, six years - it doesn't matter. Healing happens!
The brokenness, the pain, the heartache ... they lessen. The memories survive, tenderness exists, tears still fall ... but the open wounds of sorrow close, a scar is formed, and the heart is healed.
Healing doesn't mean love disappears.
It simply erases the pain so JOY can show itself once again.
And when we collapse our hurting, broken bodies at the feet of the Savior, asking Him to heal us and make us whole because we cannot imagine what life looks like in the days ahead ... He is faithful.
God heals the brokenhearted.

And because He does, we can embrace the truth:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance
Ecclesiastes 3

When we accept this truth, we won't feel guilty when we find ourselves smiling, laughing, moving forward, and even - forgetting.
We are not forgetting the person.
We are forgetting the pain.

And one day, Praise the Lord, none of us will ever have to experience pain or loss ever again.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21